SUNY Albany suspends classes after positive coronavirus test

All classes were canceled at SUNY Albany Thursday after a student at the school tested positive for the coronavirus, one of two confirmed cases of the deadly bug in Albany, officials said.

The unidentified student, who is in his early 20s, and a 30-year-old woman from nearby Guilderland both tested positive — the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state capital — and were both home-quarantined, Albany county health officials said at a press conference.

“We received this information last evening and had staff in the department working past midnight,” county Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen said. “I can share with you that neither of these cases were hospitalized. I can share with you that both are currently recovering at home.”

“As of right now this is still a very active investigation,” Whalen said.

In a statement to students and faculty Thursday, University of Albany President Havidan Rodriguez said the infected student lives off-campus, but the school opted to suspend classes “as a precaution.”

“I want to reassure you that all appropriate precautions are being taken and that the university’s COVID-19 task force continues to address related academic, student affairs, and facilities concerns,” he wrote. “Please continue to monitor your e-mail for updates today, tomorrow and throughout spring break.”

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said neither patient had traveled and were likely infected locally.

“We’re still unfolding everything, where these two people were, who they had contact with,” McCoy said. “And as the doctor said, we’re alarmed because they didn’t travel anywhere.”

The school did not say when classes could resume, but the campus is scheduled to go on spring break starting on Saturday.

Thursday’s announcement comes one day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said CUNY and SUNY systems would cancel in-person classes starting next week.

Meanwhile, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan suspended all large gatherings and permits for public events in the city until further notice.

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